As results of America’s Fattest Cities are being released, California is taking action to fight against climbing to the top spot. It’s being reported that an alarming 44.4% of children in Mississippi, America’s “fattest state” are obese. When I read that, I wondered how such a shocking statistic was possible for a single state. I suppose CA leaders asked themselves the same thing too, because as of July 1, three new diet laws are in effect in California.
Starting July 1, all restaurants will be required disclose nutritional information in either indoor or outdoor menus, or in the form of a brochure that will be offered to customers. In 2011, restaurants will be required to disclose nutritional information in all three forms.
Starting July 1, the current ban on trans fat has been extended to include food offered in school vending machines and by vendors on school. Trans fat has already been banned in school cafeterias.
Lastly, while soda has already been banned at elementary and junior high schools, the new legislation also includes a soda ban on high schools. The new restriction on drinks also restricts schools from selling drinks with added sweeteners, and whole milk. This will hopefully encourage students to gravitate towards healthier choices and live an overall healthier life.
Whether or not this new legislation will make a true difference is still up for debate. In some ways, I think those who make poor diet choices may still continue the same lifestyle, and students can still easily access their favorite trans-fat laced snacks and unhealthy drinks outside of school. However, there are also plenty others who will think twice when the nutritional information is laid out in front of them, and students who have become used to drinking and eating healthier due to restrictions on campus will naturally carry the same healthier habits outside of school. In any case, it is important to make sure that California stays away from becoming one of America’s “fattest states” and hopefully this legislation helps the cause.